HOW TO WATCH NBA GAMES THRU JAN. 29
After spending the weekend watching what was, unquestionably, the best two days of NFL playoff football in the league’s storied history, you now have six full days to enjoy watching – and betting on – NBA action. You’d better get into the habit of enjoying basketball now – there are now just three NFL games left this season. If you’re really jonesing to get some wagers in, you could always lay a few bets on whether MLB will get a labor agreement in place before Memorial Day. My advice: bet on the folks in charge of baseball making the dumbest possible decision and the one that respects fans the least.
Never mind worrying about that – there are great NBA games this week to focus on. Monday night starts things off with a bang as two teams fighting for the NBA’s best record will meet when the Jazz travel to Phoenix for a showdown. Utah superstar Donovan Mitchell may miss the game with lingering concussion symptoms, but it should still be a great game to watch and wager on. The two Western Conference powerhouses will then play the other half of a home-and-home series on Wednesday night in Salt Lake City, which should only amplify the hostilities.
Tuesday night sees the overhyped, ill-fitting Los Angeles Lakers circus coming to Brooklyn to face the Nets. I believe it is in the NBA’s television contract to have approximately 240 Lakers games on national TV every season (even though they’re currently under .500), but it still might be fun to see a struggling Russell Westbrook face his old OKC mate James Harden and try to resurrect his season. Lebron is still playing well at least, and he’ll need to continue that with his Lakers playing a brutal stretch this week with four road games in Brooklyn, New York, Philadelphia and Atlanta in just six days.
This weekend the Raptors will make an excursion to Miami, hoping to face Toronto legend Kyle Lowry for the first time since he signed with the Heat (he’s missed the past few games for personal reasons) and on Sunday the Trail Blazers land in Chicago to face the Bulls in a rematch of the 1992 NBA Finals. With both of these teams’ current backcourt injury situations, this game could be worth watching solely for the fact that Portland may be forced to bring back Clyde Drexler and Terry Porter and Chicago might have to try to have Scottie and Michael make nice and sign 10-day hardship contracts. (We can dream, can’t we?)
All games listed below are nationally televised games and are listed at EST. Check your local listings to see which games are playing on your local networks.
MONDAY JANUARY 24
Utah @ Phoenix 9 pm NBA TV
TUESDAY JANUARY 25
LA Lakers @ Brooklyn 7:30 pm TNT
Dallas @ Golden State 10 pm TNT
WEDNESDAY JANUARY 26
New York @ Miami 7:30 pm ESPN
Phoenix @ Utah 10 pm ESPN
THURSDAY JANUARY 27
LA Lakers @ Philadelphia 7:30 pm TNT
Minnesota @ Golden State 10 pm TNT
FRIDAY JANUARY 28
LA Lakers @ Charlotte 7:30 pm ESPN
New York @ Milwaukee 10 pm ESPN
SATURDAY JANUARY 29
Brooklyn @ Golden State 8:30 pm ABC